By Nanditha Sankar:
December 4 will ring in an important day for the national capital. Touted as one of the most vociferous elections this season, three major parties — the ruling Congress, the BJP and the rising newcomer Aam Aadmi Party are seen as the major players. The BJP’s CM Candidate is Dr. Harshvardhan, a man of impeccable stature as stated even by his opponents. He has donned the caps of the Law, Health and Education Ministries and won several accolades for his flagship Polio Eradication Programme, which went on to be adopted by the entire nation. Such is his stature that several of his opponents, including Arvind Kejriwal have been repeatedly saying that the BJP will use HarshVardhan like how the Congress uses Manmohan Singh to cover up for their misdeeds.
While the picture seems rosy from the outside, all’s not well with the BJP and their so-called idealist candidate. On analyzing the happenings around the election season in Delhi, here are some reasons I find for one to go against the BJP and Dr.Harshvardhan:
*The NaMo stamp – that the party is riding on a wave of Modi-ism, what with every one or the other campaign indirectly hinting at the anointment of the party’s new-face for the Prime Ministerial post, so much so that the local players have been relegated to the background. This could have a negative impact on the party with the anti-Modi wave turning tides against the BJP. Only time will tell if the Modi impact continue to chime or ebb away.
*Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair- After crying out loud when there was one ‘doubtful’ candidate in the AAP, the BJP has fielded the most no. of tainted candidates amongst the 3 parties. A whopping 31/68, a sure sign of disrepute.
*Infighting – That Vijay Goel has been the architect of the BJP’s Delhi unit is no hushed-up tale. However, from the moment that Dr. Harshvardhan was decided as the CM candidate, dirty linen began to be washed in public. Mr.Goel had even threatened to step down and was finally meted out the same treatment as LK Advani (in the Modi issue). And now, we hear that first-time voters have been distributed pamphlets exhorting them to vote for the party with no sign of the Dr. Harshvardhan on them.
*A clear case of Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V : The BJP seems to have followed the path of students resorting to Google for their assignments. Their much-delayed and debated manifesto was finally released only to be a clear-cut copy of the AAP manifesto. While the BJP claimed that the delay was because “they had to plan a lot”, the manifesto reveals shoddy planning. The issues addressed may be the same for the city faces the same problems but their plans to curb those issues, especially the contentious issues of power, water supply and corruption have the same redressal solutions as AAP. Whether this was a case of coincidence or “Excessive planning” is left to the readers to guess.
*Where were they all these years?
The BJP has proposed complete e-governance in Delhi. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi, which has been under the reins of the BJP for over 10 years, required the spending of an exorbitant sum of 12 crores for a poorly developed website.What could have been easily done at the hands of young IT experts went into a protracted sob-story. And the very same party has now hatched plans to take digitization to an all new level when they can’t even handle the grassroots stage?
Furthermore, the BJP, despite bringing some relief with their Health aspect of the manifesto, have failed to curb epidemics like dengue fever in Delhi. They say they will not investigate corruption charges against the current government (one can only wonder why such a camaraderie). The BJP must realize that they cannot get away with such pointless moves. One can only hope for a better show from them in the run-up to the D-day. While exit polls may be in favor of them despite predicting a hung assembly, only actual results will reveal what’s in store for the BJP.